Steam Injection Experiences in Heavy and Extra-Heavy Oil Fields, Venezuela
- Gina Luz Vega Riveros (Petroleum Consultant) | Hugo Barrios
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Heavy Oil Conference and Exhibition, 12-14 December, Kuwait City, Kuwait
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 4.3.4 Scale, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.4.11 Cold Heavy Oil Production (CHOPS), 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.3.9 Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 4.3.3 Aspaltenes, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.7.5 Economic Evaluations, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 4.1.9 Heavy Oil Upgrading
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The exploitation and development of large heavy and extra heavy oil fields in Venezuela represents one of the largest hydrocarbon accumulations in the world. These deposits can be found at the Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt in Eastern Venezuela, the Bolivar Coast Fields in Western Venezuela and Santa Barbara and Pirital Fields in the Northeast of Venezuela. The Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt represents a 90% of the discovered extra-heavy oil in the country.
Enormous deposits of hydrocarbons can be found in "Cerro Negro??, "Machete??, "Hamaca?? and "Zuata?? that belong to the Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt. These fields contain extra-heavy crude of 8 to 9 oAPI, an oil viscosity of 8,500 cp, an original depth of 2,900 ft and a thickness of 217 to 287 ft. The sand depositional environments are originally fluvial or deltaic and laterally discontinuous.
Santa Barbara Field contains heavy oil crude of 16 to 19 oAPI, an oil viscosity of 510 cp, a depth of 200 to 1,150 ft and sand thickness of 40 to 253 ft. The fields come from delta derived sandstones enviromentals. Bachaquero, Lagunillas and Tia Juana Fields in the Bolivar Coast Field contain heavy crude of 11 to 15 oAPI, viscosity of 100 to 10,000 cps, depth of 1,000 to 3,000 ft and sand thickness of 50 to 300 ft. The sand consists of non-marine sediments, eventual transgressions and conglomerate sandstones depositional environments.
The fields were studied to extract information about successful application and evaluation of cyclic steam stimulation (CSS). In the Northern part of Tia Juana Field where the viscosity was higher than expected (typically 20,000 cp), a steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) Pilot was implemented. Statistical analysis allowed the quantification of the parameters that affect the incremental recovery factor. As a result, it was found that the basic controls are oAPI, viscosity, depth, thickness and well spacing.
Thermal recovery processes are mainly applied to deposits less than 1,100 m of depth, oil viscosity greater than 50 cp, gravity less than 20 oAPI and typical well spacing of 2-5 acres. The most common applied method was cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) with a positive incremental of oil-steam ratio, from 1.5 to 6.8. Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) in horizontal wells was applied increasing significantly the recovery efficiency, higher than 50%.
Currently, more than 80% of proven oil reserves around the world are located in Countries belonging OPEC, where Venezuela is the nation with greater reserves of hydrocarbons at the global level. During 2010 year, the agreement with the OPEC annual statistical bulletin reported 296.5 MMMSTB due to the addition of the heavy and extra heavy oil reserves of the Faja Petrolifera del Orinoco (FPO) located in the Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt, Eastern of Venezuela.
Some analytical methods take as reference the parameters of already proven technologies around the world and compare them with the average parameters of our heavy crude oil reservoirs. This procedure is known as "screening??. During the screeening a filter is done to select those methods with greater likelihood of success and the areas where it can be applied.
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